Phishing has been a major cyber threat for many years, but in 2023 it continues to be the biggest threat facing businesses. According to recent reports, the number of phishing attacks has been steadily increasing, with no signs of slowing down.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a type of cyber attack, normally starting with an email or text message.  The attacker impersonates a legitimate entity, such as a bank,  social media platform or someone known to the victim. The Attacker aims to trick them into divulging sensitive information such as login credentials, financial data, or personal information. Phishing attacks typically come in the form of email, text messages, or social media messages. These messages often contain a link or attachment that, when clicked, leads to a fake website or downloads malware onto the victim’s device.

Why is phishing such a big threat?

Phishing is a significant threat because it is a very effective way for attackers to gain access to sensitive information. Phishing attacks are often very convincing and can be difficult to detect, especially for individuals who are not familiar with the tactics used by attackers. In addition, phishing attacks are often targeted at specific individuals or organizations, making them even more effective.

Another reason why phishing is such a big threat is that it is constantly evolving. Attackers are always coming up with new tactics and techniques to make their phishing messages more convincing and harder to detect. For example, attackers may use social engineering techniques to gain the victim’s trust before asking for sensitive information.

How can businesses protect themselves from phishing?

There are several steps that businesses can take to protect themselves from phishing attacks:

  1. Teach employees about phishing. One of the most effective ways to protect against phishing is to educate employees about the tactics used by attackers. This includes training employees on how to identify phishing messages, how to avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments, and how to report suspicious messages to the appropriate authorities.
  2.  Strong security measures: Businesses should implement strong security measures, such as firewalls and antivirus software, to prevent phishing messages from reaching employees’ inboxes. They should also ensure that all software and systems are up-to-date with the latest security patches.
  3. Use multi-factor authentication: Multi-factor authentication is an effective way to protect against phishing attacks. This involves requiring users to provide more than one form of authentication, such as a password and a fingerprint, before granting access to sensitive information.
  4. Monitor network activity: Businesses should monitor their network activity for signs of phishing attacks. This includes monitoring for unusual login attempts, unusual network traffic, and suspicious email activity.
  5.  There are some modern and very affordable solutions available that will monitor your email system for phishing attempts very successfully using a combination AI (Artificial Intelligence), and traditional rule based learning. please reach out if you’re interested to hear more.

Phishing continues to be the biggest cyber threat in 2023, and businesses need to take steps to protect themselves. By educating employees, implementing strong security measures, using multi-factor authentication, and monitoring network activity, businesses can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to a phishing attack.